Today is World Cancer Day, a day that gives the entire world the opportunity to come together to show solidarity on an issue that pretty much touches everybody – whether that be directly or indirectly through a family member, friend or colleague who has been diagnosed. The day aims to be a positive day with the focus being on empowerment, celebrating the lives of those who have been diagnosed and highlighting that everyone has a part to play in fighting cancer.
The theme for today is “We can. I can.” and is part of a three-year campaign exploring how everyone can contribute to reducing the global burden of cancer. Organisers of World Cancer Day, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), have developed a set of key messages that show exactly how everyone, as a collective or as an individual, can play a role in reducing the impact of cancer. These messages are:
- Inspire action, take action
- Prevent cancer
- Create healthy schools
- Create healthy workplaces
- Create healthy cities
- Support others to return to work
- Challenge perceptions
- Improve access to cancer care
- Shape policy
- Build a quality workforce
- Make the case for investing in cancer control
- Join forces to make a difference
- Make healthy choices
- Understand that early detection saves lives
- Ask for support
- Return to work
- Take control of my cancer journey
- Love and be loved
- Make my voice heard
The aim of these messages is to reduce the millions of preventable cancer deaths that sadly take place throughout the world each year by giving everyone clear information and pushing governments to make cancer a priority.
World Cancer Day in St Kitts.
As you may know, we are now based in St Kitts, and for World Cancer Day we are delighted to have partnered with the Health Promotion Team at the Ministry of Health to take the key messages of World Cancer Day out in the community.
We started with a social media campaign using the wonderful resources developed by the UICC and of course the #WeCanICan theme but added #SKNCan (i.e. St Kitts and Nevis Can) to raise awareness of what residents of St Kitts and Nevis can do to reduce their cancer risk.
As part of our social media activity we took the messages (physically, on selfie cards!) to the streets of Basseterre and asked members of the public, businesses and government departments what messages resonated with them and did they feel they might consider taking forward to do their part in beating cancer. We then took pictures of people holding the selfie cards with the message that best represented what people thought would be most effective and these were used to raise awareness last week, in the run-up to World Cancer Day.
This was a great way to raise awareness in the community, it was fun and a bit light-hearted, but still got important messages across to the public whilst creating some teachable moments as people asked questions about what they could do specifically to prevent cancer.
We’re also in the process of organising a cancer awareness lunch to be held on 11th February where we’ll be celebrating survivors, providing information on what the public can do to reduce their risk of developing cancer and promoting early detection through awareness of signs and symptoms and seeking help promptly.
You Can Get Involved
There is still time to get involved in this campaign.
You can visit the World Cancer Day’s website, download a selfie card, take a picture and post it on social media to show what you can do to help in the fight against cancer. Don’t forget to include the hashtags #WorldCancerDay, #WCD2018 and #WeCanICan. If you’re in St Kitts and Nevis, then go ahead and add #SKNCan.
For all the St Kitts residents out there, you can attend our cancer awareness lunch next Sunday. Stay tuned to our events page for all the details!